Quantum computing doesn’t really mean much to PC gamers, let alone most people who frolic with computers. This is largely due to the fact that it is still pretty far out of reach of most ordinary people given the price to buy, let alone power, or actually have a worthy task to perform. That said, scientists are making new advances all the time, so you can count qubits in your new rigs faster than you think.
At least IBM seems to think so. The company released a statement announcing what it refers to as a breakthrough in its latest quantum processor. Called Eagle, this processor has a large selection of 127 qubits ready to solve your quantum problems. This makes the Eagle processor the largest in the world, more than doubling the capacity of other top-of-the-line machines.
Before this, most of the qubits we had seen working together were of computers like the Zuchongzhi superconducting processor from the University of Science and Technology of China, with 60 qubits.
IBM also made a 65-qubit processor as late as 2020, and a smaller one back in 2019. It explains techniques from these earlier builds, such as optimizing the arrangement of qubits and the ability to reduce the total amount of components needed. is helped by making the Eagle. The design also uses multiple levels in the processor to hold wires, leaving qubits on a single layer, allowing for multiple parent qubits.
The reason why this demonstration is particularly exciting is that it finally brings quantum computers within the reach of usability. Quantum domination or quantum advantage is a term used to describe the goal of quantum computing in order to go beyond where our current ordinary computers can. That means being able to solve problems that we have never been able to touch on before thanks to the huge increase over regular bits.
Another notable quantum machine is Google’s Sycamore, which is still only about 60 qubits marked and has previously boasted Quantum Supremacy. IBM came to burst their bubble with regular computer examples of the same process, so we can be pretty sure someone will pull them up if they have a similar bug. So far, IBM claims that the Eagles’ scale makes it impossible for classic computers to simulate reliably.
With this leap, IBM is also predicting that its current infrastructure for quantum computers needs to be improved. The company is working on releasing its updated IBM Quantum System Two, which is designed with 433 qubit and 1,121 qubit processors in mind. IBM expects to have this new system up by 2023, which may be an indicator that they think they will need.
AMD recently filed a patent for potentially supercharging quantum computers, and new cooling methods have brought costs down tremendously this year, so who knows, maybe they’re right.
Quantum computing is also thought to pose a threat to the viability of blockchain and cryptocurrency, given its ability to solve far more complex math programs. This means having the power to potentially decrypt all sorts of things that were originally considered immovable.